Story: Economic thought

Early New Zealand taxes

Early New Zealand taxes

From the 1860s the government’s revenue came mainly from customs duties (taxes on imports). The government needed customs-duties revenue in order to function, but economic thinking at the time favoured free trade, which required abolition of duties like tariffs. New Zealand politicians argued that the taxes were revenue tariffs and not protectionist policies. They also argued that in a young colony tariffs were important to protect ‘infant industries’ while they were still developing.

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Source: Paul Goldsmith, We won, you lost, eat that! Auckland: David Ling, 2008, pp. 16, 46, 71, 102

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How to cite this page:

Gary Hawke, 'Economic thought - Protection and free trade', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 2 December 2021)

Story by Gary Hawke, published 11 Mar 2010